What is Edu-Tech
In the current global climate, a lot of traditional industries have been revamped with the advent of disruptive tech businesses like Uber, Grab and Food Panda. This trend has not exactly caught up with the education industry in general. Strong but fragmented efforts lie in entities like Udemy and Coursera. The emergence of a single unifying edu-tech platform is still not in existence.
Like transport, accommodation and food, education belongs to the category of basic human needs. It is a relatively poorly satisfied need in a lot of under-developed countries, and ironically, education is also the easiest avenue to avert poverty.
The pros of having a developed online education platform with global relevance are glaring and obvious. The percentage of educated citizens is directly co-related to a country’s prosperity and GDP. An example will be my very own beloved Singapore.
With no natural resources, Singapore was not exactly the most competitive piece of rock in the beginning. Through the initial years, a lot of effort was put into establishing an effective and efficient education system on a national level. Primary education was mandatory, and generation after generation, the national literacy ratio went up all the way.
Why Singapore need an online edu-tech platform
Reflecting on Singapore now, what is the key differentiating factor between us and our neighbours are the citizen literacy level. Our most valuable resource is human resource, and human resource comes about from education.
With cloud technology and various advances in mobile technology, the smartphone literacy levels have exceeded computer literacy levels in South-East Asia. People know how to download apps and use a smartphone, but a computer or laptop looks alien to them. With this interesting conundrum effect surfacing, edu-tech looks poised to be the next big thing.
There were various attempts at digitizing education in the past, but the delivery mechanisms and methodologies were limited by the technologies available during that era. With faster streaming speeds and an emerging trend of live broadcasting, the dreams of a unified online education platform will soon bear fruit.
Edu-tech is not a self-sustaining entity, it needs a sufficiently robust delivery channel to bear results. Therefore the telecommunication infrastructure will be the key. The key limitation of Edu-tech therefore lies in the presence of satisfactory mobile net speed and coverage.
Traditional education had differing accessibility levels based on where you were living in. Those children or students living in some secluded locations will need to scale mountains and cross rivers just to get to school to get educated.
My personal vision for edu-tech is simple: Any person who has the tenacity and inclination towards any education in any discipline will no longer be restricted by financial, social or geographic barriers. With a smartphone and basic mobile network coverage, anyone can have access to quality education.